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Patients should consider the best information available before taking these products. S-adenosylmethionine SAMe , a naturally occurring chemical in the body, has been used in Europe for some time as a prescription drug for depression as well as for relief of arthritis pain and inflammation. How it works in the body to relieve symptoms from arthritis remains unclear. When taken by mouth, SAMe is not well absorbed by the stomach to get the drug into the body.

Herbal medicine - Better Health Channel

There are no large, well-controlled studies proving it works to help arthritis pain. Further, this very expensive supplement can cause upset stomach. Other side effects include reported extreme anxiety. Like other unregulated products, many commercial preparations of SAMe do not contain the quantity of drug indicated on the label. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate supplements are promoted separately, or in combination, for patients with degenerative arthritis osteoarthritis.

Studies done by the companies making herbal drugs suggest that these products can relieve arthritis pain. A large study done by the National Institutes of Health found no benefit over the placebo group.

A recent review by a government agency, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, also concluded that there was no evidence that glucosamine or chondroitin were beneficial for osteoarthritis. Fish oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids have been reported to relieve pain and joint tenderness in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The benefits are modest and may take several months to appear. Side effects may include gastrointestinal distress and a fishy odor to the breath. Those who consider fish oil supplements should be aware that some fish oil supplements may contain high levels of mercury or vitamin A, which could be toxic.

As developed in Asian countries over 2, years ago, acupuncture needles are inserted into the skin at specific points along meridians or channels. Selected groups of points are used to treat different diseases. In traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture is part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may also include herbal therapy, diet, and exercise, but it is increasingly used as a stand-alone treatment by Western health care providers. There have been many studies of the use of acupuncture for relief of pain caused by osteoarthritis degenerative arthritis of the knee.

What Conditions Is Herbal Medicine Used For?

Some early trials found that patients treated with acupuncture experienced less pain than patients who received only conventional treatment. These sham procedure are like the placebo treatments discussed earlier. They included insertion of needles at non-acupuncture points, non-insertion of needles, and use of telescoping needles that appeared to be inserted into the skin.

Sham and conventional acupuncture both provided significant relief of pain compared to no treatment. However, there was little or no difference between the benefit produced by conventional or sham acupuncture. These studies suggest that the relief of pain resulted from placebo effects made by contact of the skin with needles, or their insertion at random points.

The pain caused by osteoarthritis of the knee can be severe and may be incompletely relieved by conventional treatments.

Acupuncture is considered to be a safe therapy and may be considered in addition to conventional treatment. Many books, magazines, and websites provide information about using herbal medicines and other dietary supplements. Often the claims made by these publications are not proven by science and potentially bad side effects are not typically mentioned. Three recent books that provide more sound advice are listed below. The most reliable and accessible information is provided through health newsletters published by nonprofit consumer organizations and medical schools.

Sources of more technical information are listed below. The American College of Rheumatology has compiled this list to give you a starting point for your own additional research. The ACR does not endorse or maintain these websites, and is not responsible for any information or claims provided on them. It is always best to talk with your rheumatologist for more information and before making any decisions about your care.

Updated June by Chase S. This information is provided for general education only. Individuals should consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of a medical or health condition. Do you need help?

Call Help Get more information. There is no scientific proof that "natural" medications are gentler or safer than prescription or over-the-counter medications. Herbal remedies are not checked by the Food and Drug Administration. Their ingredients are not monitored. The ingredients can be very different from product to product.

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75 Safe and Effective Herbal Remedies

There is no scientific proof that herbal remedies work. Most types of arthritis last for a long time.

Herbal Remedies : How to Treat ADHD With Herbal Medicines

Acupuncture may provide pain relief for some patients with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. These herbs have been included because of the strong clinical evidence of their efficacy.

Do Natural Remedies Really Work?

I was disappointed with this article. From the title I was expecting to find 75 remedies but instead it was more a push to buy this authors book. I clicked in the link that brought me here expecting to find a list of herbal remedies, not an article saying a bunch of stuff I already know and trying to sell some guy's books. There is a bill in the EU being put through in April which would ban buying and selling of all herbal remedies and related products. Dan I would like to comment on your statement of potentcy. The standard for pharmaceuticals is measured in miligrams which varies in potentcy by numbers obviously the higher the number, the higher the dosage, the stronger the potentcy.

The higher the miligram for one person could kill another. For example I'm on 10 miligrams of methadone this same dosage given to you could possibly put you in the hospital with an overdose causing some kind of complication. What I'm trying to get at is how does one measure the potency of herbal medicine?

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While I'm overall a fan of herbal remedies, the risks to trying it yourself cannot easily be overstated. Some medicinal herbs look a lot like a lethally toxic plant. And there can be extreme reactions between prescription medications and herbs: the combination of St. John's Wort and some prescription anti-depressants has been known to cause liver-failure!


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If you're going to look at herbal remedies, find an expert and talk to your doctor. That herbal may be just what you need, but it also might cause a lot of damage, just like any other medication. When your doctor asks are you taking any over-the-counter medications, include whatever herbs you're taking: it really does matter, and you could wind up in a terrible situation if you don't tell them.

Taking the example of St. John's Wort again, I've met a few people who had better results with that than with pharmaceuticals. There have been real, double-blind, controlled studies on some herbs, and they generally turn out to work well, so it's not all junk science. It's just important to do your own research before you try to make sure you don't run into a known problem.

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